Letter from the Director
It is an exciting time to be working at the cusp of a transforming energy economy.Tim Donohue
At the Wisconsin Energy Institute, 2018 marked an exciting year of transition and change. WEI is proud to be a leader in “Energizing the Wisconsin Idea” — creating knowledge and experts that can benefit the citizens and companies of our state. Continue Reading
World-Class Energy Research
UW–Madison researchers have developed an economical way of producing a critical plastic precursor from biomass, offering an alternative to petroleum-derived material.
A naturally produced red pigment may hold the key to engineering yeasts for large-scale production of isobutanol as a biofuel.
A recently discovered variety of lignin has several attributes that could make this tough but abundant plant material a promising starting point for synthesizing a range of bioproducts.
With a biology-inspired approach, a UW–Madison team has designed a new type of fuel cell using cheaper materials and an organic compound that shuttles electrons and protons.
As climate change pushes summer temperatures ever higher, more air conditioner use may compound problems by further degrading air quality and human health, according to a new study.
A new, low-cost wound dressing developed by UW–Madison engineers leverages a patient’s body motion to generate gentle electrical pulses that could dramatically speed up healing.
Far-reaching Education & Outreach
Winners of the 2018 Wisconsin Energy & Sustainability Challenge included innovations in energy educational platforms, solar energy production and distribution, and chemical production from renewable waste materials.
The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center hosted 10 REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) students in summer 2018: seven at Michigan State and three at UW–Madison.
The Wisconsin Energy Institute asked several UW–Madison students who are studying energy issues what motivates them.
Equipped with carefully laid plans and a crowdfunding campaign, “solar ambassadors” at UW–Madison are bringing solar energy to a local nonprofit.
WiscWind, a UW–Madison student organization, impressed the judges at the 2018 DOE Collegiate Wind Competition with their plan to develop a potential windfarm within 100 miles of campus.
When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September 2017, UW–Madison engineering professor James Tinjum wanted to help in a way that would have a lasting impact.
With targeted investments and forward-looking policies, Wisconsin could capitalize on its strengths in sensors and controls for the advanced energy industry to drive economic growth and support over 44,000 jobs annually.
Growing dedicated bioenergy crops such as switchgrass, poplar, or restored prairie can produce substantial climate benefit – if the right factors are in place, report researchers at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center.
A UW–Madison spinoff expanding solar lighting in Africa won the grand prize in the annual Governor’s Business Plan Contest, while a method to convert biomass into a common industrial chemical took home two awards.
UW–Madison serial innovator Jack Ma cites strong leadership, an impressive research infrastructure, excellent faculty and support for multidisciplinary collaborations as reasons he has been successful.
Many WEI investigators, experts, and affiliates received honors and awards in 2018 for their work.
We wouldn't miss the chance to express our gratitude to the hundreds of passionate members of the WEI community who passed through our doors to attend an event, tour, talk, or meeting in the past year.